MJUSD assesses Arboga Elementary traffic

Feb. 2—Since returning from the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have voiced their concerns regarding increased traffic during school pick-ups at Arboga Elementary School in Olivehurst.

Broadway Road, which runs in front of the school, is a two-way street, but the high number of cars coming toward Arboga Elementary frequently causes significant congestion in the surrounding areas.

In order to develop a solution, Marysville Joint Unified School District Superintendent Fal Asrani, Arboga Principal Eric Preston, community members and Assistant Director of Public Works for Yuba County Sam Bunton observed traffic routes near the school on Thursday.

While assessing morning traffic, Asrani acknowledged that the school's traffic issue is not a recent situation. The increased construction of new homes as well as Arboga Elementary's recent campus expansion to include additional grade levels has contributed to increased traffic during pick-ups.

"It's important to note that this is not a new issue. It has gotten worse as our school gets bigger and we accommodate more students and families. We must also remember that the school does not control the road, but it can control the parking lot," Asrani said.

Preston said that morning drop-offs are typically manageable. Parents delivering their children to school often arrive at different times depending on their personal schedules, which lowers the chances of facing heavy traffic when approaching the school.

Afternoon pick-ups present a larger issue, especially on minimum days, he said. Students are typically released from school during different time blocks depending on which grade they are in. Nearly every Wednesday, students from all grade levels are released at the same time, Preston said.

The purpose of Thursday's meeting was to discuss possible traffic solutions to explore, such as temporarily closing Broadway Road for up to two hours during afternoon pick-ups. Asrani also suggested placing road signs directing parents to park along the side of the road while waiting to pick up their children. She said that this would make more space for other drivers who are approaching a different destination.

"One huge solution would be getting parents to pull off the side of the road," said Terri Gardener, a parent of Arboga Elementary students.

In a guest column, Asrani also offered some temporary traffic solutions for parents such as establishing a carpool system with other families and contacting the district office to schedule bus transportation.

Asrani and other members of the district will continue to analyze Arboga Elementary's traffic issue and explore possible solutions during another traffic observation next week.

"We will keep investigating our options. This school was built to serve the community, and the community knows that the school is meant to serve them. We'll work through our options as we continue to find a solution," she said.